Astronomy & Astrophysics Minor Requirements


Requirements for the Minor in Astronomy & Astrophysics

The minor in astronomy and astrophysics consists of at least 12 credit hours of course work beyond the introductory calculus-based Physics courses (Physics 1250 and 1251) and the introductory calculus courses (Math 1151 and 1152). Courses at the 1000-level may not be counted towards completion of the minor program. 

If you complete the minor following the guidelines on this page, you should file a Minor Program Form with your college advisor. If you wish to pursue any variation to the requirements, please consult with the Astronomy Undergraduate Academic Advisor.

Required Prerequisites1

Semester Course Credit Hours
Math 1151 Calculus I2 5
Math 1152 Calculus II2 5
Physics 1250/1250H Mechanics, Thermal Physics, and Waves                          5
Physics 1251/1251H E&M, Optics, and Modern Physics     5

Minor Program

The following 9 hours of courses are required.

Required Semester Courses Credit Hours
Astron 2291 Basic Astrophysics and Planetary Astronomy 3
Astron 2292 Stellar, Galactic, and Extragalactic Astronomy & Astrophysics     3
Astron 3350 Methods of Astronomical Observation and Data Analysis 3

To complete the 12 credit hours required for the minor, pick one or more courses from the following list to total least 3 hours:

Complete at least one of the following                                                               Credit Hours
Astron 5681 Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis3 3
Astron 5682 Introduction to Cosmology3 3
Physics 2300 Intermediate Mechanics 13 4
Physics 3470 Optics3 3


  1. The listed prerequisites are required regardless of the final course chosen for the minor. Depending on which final course is chosen, additional prerequisites may be required. Physics 2300 requires that students complete Math 2153 or equivalent, and Astron 5681 and 5682 require that students complete Math 2415 or equivalent.
  2. An acceptable substitute math sequence is Math 1151 - 1172. Students with appropriate placement may also substitute Math 1161 or Math 1181H or 4181H instead.
  3. Only one of Astron 5681, Astron 5682, Physics 2300, and Physics 3470 will be required. No overlap is allowed between a student's major and the Astronomy & Astrophysics Minor.

Other considerations

A student majoring in Physics or Math-Applied Option, where Physics 2300 and 2301 are required in the major program, cannot use these physics courses in the Astronomy & Astrophysics minor program. For these students, the minor program would likely be Astronomy 2291, 2292, 3350, and either Astronomy 5681 or 5682.

For students whose major program does not include Physics 2300 or Math 2153, the likely Astronomy & Astrophysics minor would be Astronomy 2291, 2292, 3350, and Physics 3470. 

Astronomy & Astrophysics minors are particularly encouraged to take Astronomy 2895 (Topics in Astrophysics). This one-credit course largely consists of lectures on contemporary research topics by various members of the Astronomy Department faculty and is graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory.